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Japan New Zealand Trading Relationship Needs Boost

Japan New Zealand Trading Relationship Needs a Boost

Yesterday’s trade figures are a wakeup call for New Zealand’s trading relationship with Japan according to the Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce.

“The figures confirm that New Zealand’s two way trade with Japan has slipped to fourth place behind that of China,” said Chamber CEO Charles Finny.

“New Zealand’s two-way trade with China was $7.4 billion over the last 12 months compared to that with Japan of $7.2 billion. Japan has been New Zealand’s third largest trade partner for many years. With the conclusion of an FTA between China and New Zealand imminent, the bilateral trading relationship with China will receive a further stimulus.

“While the growing trading relationship with China is welcomed, we must not neglect Japan, the world’s second largest economy that has recently emerged from a period of flat economic performance.

“Japan and New Zealand are natural trade partners whose relationship has enormous potential to develop. We are pleased the government has taken steps to reinvigorate the relationship with Japan but this needs concrete action.

“It also needs more attention from the New Zealand business community and I urge businesses to sit up and take note.

The Japan New Zealand Partnership Forum, to be held in Tokyo on May 2008 and organised by the International Business Forum of which the Chamber is an active member, is well timed.

“The Partnership Forum will bring together around 60 leading figures from government, business and the wider community in both countries in an effort to strengthen the Japan New Zealand relationship.

“Now is the time for New Zealand to put Japan back on its radar and to renew its commitment to the relationship. Japan should take note of China’s successful strategy and move quickly to commence FTA negotiations with New Zealand.

“Such a negotiation should be one of the New Zealand government highest priorities,” Mr Finny concluded.

ENDS

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